The pretty brick house sits on a terraced street in Lancashire. From the outside it looks like every other home in the area, but those who venture inside quickly realise all is not as it seems.
On the outside the house, on Burnley Road in Rawtenstall, is boarded up and derelict but an explorer discovered that a section of the culvert underneath it had collapsed and a large hole had appeared in the interior floor.
Rossendale Council and the Environment Agency (EA) said in August, when the culvert was discovered, they have been working together with the homeowner on the issue, but they say the culvert is the responsibility of the landowner.
The EA confirmed they have developed a contingency plan to mitigate the flooding risk if the culvert collapses further.
However the homeowner has now been ordered to complete works to the house or face having it demolished.
Rossendale Council say that the damage is the responsibility of the owner of 37 Burnley Road in Rawtenstall, Lancashire, but as no work has been done to make the house safe they have been granted an order by magistrates to demolish the house.
They advised residents of three neighbouring houses to evacuate, as the damage represented a “danger to the public”.
Owner Ponke Miah, who lives at another location in Rossendale, says the repairs are estimated to cost upwards of £55,000, which he cannot afford.
He said: ‘The culvert, I can’t repair it on my own, I need LCC to step in.
“The council have taken an estimate of £55,000, plus VAT.
“It’s not possible to raise that money for repairs on my own because the cost is enormous. It’s very stressful.
“I am the biggest loser here. I am losing a house which is worth £100,000. Yes it is a danger – but something can be done about this.”
“Officers of the council visited the site along with our appointed consultants where it was agreed that the property represented a danger to the public due to the proximity to the highway and the neighbouring properties.
“The residents of 37, 39, 41 and 43 Burnley Road were advised to vacate their properties from a safety perspective.
“It is clear that the culvert needs to be repaired, however 37 Burnley Road first needs to be made safe to enable the culvert to be accessed to repair.
“Over the next year the council contacted the owner of 37 Burnley Road, Mr Ponke Miah, on several occasions requesting that he make the building safe.
“On 29th March 2017 the Environment Agency advised that the culvert had suffered further…